Chasing December competes in Battle of the Bands
by Marie Nesmith
May 18, 2013 | 1548 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Describing themselves as “the definitive modern rock band,” Chasing December is the only Bartow County musical act competing in the fourth annual State Mutual Insurance Battle of the Bands.

Along with sampling their music, supporters can cast a vote for $1 through May 31 at 11:59 p.m. for the local band on The website features a biography, photograph and an mp3 song for all of the contest’s 12 entries.

Comprised of four members — Dan Koutavas, lead guitar/keyboard; Sebastian Ayars, drums/percussion; Joe Bullard, bass guitar/rhythm guitar; and Dalton Sisson, lead vocals/rhythm guitar — Chasing December was formed by Cass High School graduates Koutavas and Ayars in 2011. Since the band recently found its lead vocalist, its submitted track in the Battle of the Bands contest is an instrumental number titled “18 Miles Out.”

“We formed [Chasing December] in December of 2011 in high school,” said Koutavas, a resident of Cartersville. “We played a fundraiser for, I think it was, Toys for Tots and after that we decided we should start writing music together. So we did that and then just a few months ago we were contacted by Joe. He heard some of our music online and he contacted us and wanted to play bass. So we brought him onboard. We auditioned him and he turned out to be a good fit.

“And then just about a week and a half ago, Dalton found our page, sent us a message and he’s going to sound really good. But as to what kind of music we make, we make a mix between softer acoustic songs and rock ‘n’ roll kind of music. It’s all family-friendly rock ‘n’ roll kind of sounds. Some of the younger bands today, they like to do a lot of the screaming type music. We’re not really in that genre. We’re basically the modern rock band that would be on 97.9 or 95.7.”

After the online voting concludes, the four finalists garnering the most votes will compete for the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice titles at the DeSoto Theatre in Rome June 15. With the online proceeds benefiting Cancer Navigators, Koutavas said the band is proud to lend their musical talents to help those impacted by this disease.

According to, “The members of Chasing December carry within them stories of not only cancer victims, but also cancer victors. Each band mate encounters or has encountered a different stage of cancer. Bassist Joe Bullard works day to day with cancer patients at a local Harbin Clinic. Joe experiences people of all ages in all stages of cancer.

“Guitarist Dan Koutavas has unfortunately dealt with the disastrous effects of cancer, having lost a grandfather to brain cancer and a grandmother to multiple myeloma. Despite the negativity that follows a diagnosis of cancer, we like to keep up the optimism of a loved one overcoming the struggle, just as drummer Sebastian Ayars has witnessed with a friend that has fully recovered from leukemia. Although none have been physically touched, the emotional impact of cancer lives on in the heart of Chasing December, inspiring them to support cancer research in any and every way possible.”

For more information about Chasing December, view its Facebook page at